Playgrounds for Eid
By Lamya Thompson, Navanti Yemen Analyst
In the midst of continued clashes between Houthi/Saleh militiamen and Pro-Hadi resistance forces, and sustained airstrikes by the Arab-led Coalition, the residents of Ta’iz city have managed to create space for joy.
During the long, hot days of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan, local charities organized dinners for the homeless and needy, neighbors pooled together to buy water and ice to cool off, and youth groups sent anonymous care baskets to those in need.
As Ramadan ended and people prepared for Eid, charities collected donations to buy new clothes for children of poor and displaced families. However, a sobering realization became clear: the only park with a playground in the city is in Al Hoban, an active fighting ground, and has been deserted for months. What is an Eid celebration if the children have nowhere to play?
Several initiatives run by local charities and youth groups sprung up in response. These local groups decided that schoolyards would serve as perfect locations for slides and swing sets, while schools are closed for summer vacation.
The makeshift playgrounds were basic, but were safe and offered a much-needed outlet for the children on Eid, as they clamored up the slides in groups and waited for their turns on the swings, forgetting their troubles for the holiday.